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Compatibility between Team Foundation Clients and Team Foundation Server

With the addition of features in Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012, you will want to know the limitations or restrictions that occur in earlier versions of Team Explorer that connect to Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012. You can work around most limitations by installing Team Explorer 2010 in a side-by-side configuration with an earlier version of Team Explorer or by using Team Web Access.

NoteNote

In this topic, earlier versions refer to software that was made available with Team Foundation Server 2010, Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server, and Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server, and the current version refers to software that was made available with Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012.

In this topic, you can learn about the new features that affect forward and backward compatibility when you work with Team Explorer. Forward compatibility refers to how earlier versions of a client support the current version of Team Foundation Server, sometimes with the addition of a software update. Backward compatibility refers to how the current version of a client supports earlier versions of Team Foundation Server. A General Distribution Release (GDR) software update is available to support forward compatibility of Team Explorer.

In this topic

The following table summarizes the version compatibility support that is available when you connect different versions of Visual Studio, Team Explorer, and Team Foundation Server.

Clients and tools

Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012

Team Foundation Server 2010

Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server

Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server

Visual Studio 2012 or Team Explorer 2012

Yes

Yes (1)

No

No

Visual Studio 2010 or Team Explorer 2010  

Yes, requires SP1 and GDR (2)

Yes, SP1 is optional

Yes, SP1 is optional (3)

No

Visual Studio 2008 or Team Explorer for Visual Studio Team System 2008 

Yes, requires SP1 and GDR (2)

Yes, requires SP1 and GDR (2)

Yes, SP1 is optional (no change)

Yes, SP1 is optional (GDR must not be installed) (no change)

Team Explorer for Visual Studio 2005 Team System 

Yes, limited access that requires MSSCCI 2012 (4)

Yes, requires SP1 and GDR (2)

Yes, SP1 is optional (no change)

Yes, SP1 is optional (no change)

Team Web Access for Team Foundation Server 2010

Not applicable

Yes

Not applicable

Not applicable

Team Web Access for Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012

Yes (5)

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

MSSCCI 2008

No

No

Yes (no change)

Yes (no change)

MSSCCI 2010

No

Yes

Not applicable

Not applicable

MSSCCI 2012

Yes (6)

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

Notes:

  1. If you connect the current version of Team Explorer to Team Foundation Server 2010, you can perform the same functions as if you connected an earlier version of Team Explorer to Team Foundation Server 2010. However, you cannot access new functionality that Team Foundation Server 2010 does not support.

  2. You cannot connect to Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 by using earlier versions of Team Explorer that do not have SP1 and the GDR installed. For information about how to access the GDR for Visual Studio 2010 or Visual Studio Team System 2008, see Additional Resources later in this topic.

    You can connect to Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 by using an earlier version of Team Explorer with the GDR for that version, but you will not be able to perform those tasks or access certain features as described in New features, supported tasks, and version compatibility later in this topic.

  3. If you connect Team Explorer 2010 to Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server, you can perform the same functions as if you connected an earlier version of Team Explorer to Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server. However, you cannot access new functionality that Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server does not support.

  4. After you install MSSCCI 2012, you can connect to TFS 2012 for source control operations only. To manage work items or builds, you must use Team Web Access. See Microsoft Source Code Control Interface (MSSCCI) Provider 2012 Power Tool.

  5. You must rebuild any work item custom controls that were built for earlier versions of Team Web Access. For more information, see Team Web Access and version compatibility.

  6. The Microsoft Source Code Control Interface (MSSCCI) Provider 2012 power tool supports Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012. For more information, see Microsoft Source Code Control Interface (MSSCCI) Provider 2012 Power Tool.

The current version of Team Explorer installs with each version of Visual Studio. You can run Team Explorer side-by-side with older versions of Team Explorer and Visual Studio.

To use the following Team Foundation clients, you must install the current version of Team Explorer side-by-side with earlier versions of Team Explorer.

  • Microsoft Test Manager

  • Microsoft Project

  • Microsoft Excel

  • PowerPoint Storyboarding

For example, you can start the Office Integration Add-Ins for Excel and Project from the 2005 version, but they will have 2010 functionality when they are side by side. Similarly, you can publish test cases only when you run the two versions of Team Explorer side by side. You must install a side-by-side update to use the earlier versions of Team Explorer with the current versions of Office Add-Ins for Team Foundation Server. For more information, see Additional Resources.

The following table lists version compatibility for TEE. TEE no longer stores credentials per TFS connection.

Clients and tools

Eclipse versions supported

Team Foundation Server 2012

Team Foundation Server 2010

Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server

Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server

Team Explorer Everywhere 2012

3.4-3.8

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Team Explorer Everywhere 2010 SP1

3.2-3.6

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Team Explorer Everywhere 2010

3.0-3.5

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Team Web Access is automatically installed and configured when you install or upgrade Team Foundation Server. Version compatibility is not an issue because all instances of Team Foundation Server are accessed by Team Web Access services that are hosted on that server. For information about supported Web browsers, see Use Team Web Access to interact with Visual Studio ALM.

Several features are only accessible to users after they have been added to the Full group of Web Access Permissions. See Change access levels

You must rebuild any custom controls for work item forms that were built for Team Web Access for previous releases of Team Foundation Server. You must rebuild these controls by using the assembly references in the current version of Team Web Access. To learn about writing new controls, see the following Microsoft websites: Work Item Custom Control Development in TF Web Access 2012 - Development and Work Item Custom Control Development in TF Web Access 2012 - Deployment.

For an overview of new features, see What's New for Application Lifecycle Management in Visual Studio 2012. For a summary of changed and deprecated features, see Changes Made to Team Projects and Default Process Templates During Upgrade of Team Foundation Server. For administrative, project, and test-case management, the use of the current version of Team Explorer is recommended in a side-by-side configuration.

Here are the client-side tasks that are available only if the current version of Team Explorer is connected to Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012:

NoteNote

Additional features and tasks might not be available if you are connecting to Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 from Team Explorer for Visual Studio Team System 2008 or Team Explorer for Visual Studio 2005 Team System. To learn more about these compatibility issues, view the previous version of this topic by clicking the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010/.NET Framework 4 link at the top of this page.

  • My Work, Pending Changes, and Request Code Review: These features are only available from Team Explorer 2012.

  • Code analysis check-in policies: There are several differences in the way check-in policies are authored and evaluated when you use different versions of Team Explorer. See Version Compatibility for Code Analysis Check-In Policies.

  • Version control local workspaces: You cannot use local workspaces with earlier versions of Visual Studio. You must use server workspaces. You can only share server workspaces across multiple clients. See Decide Between Using a Local or a Server Workspace.

  • Testing: Visual Studio 2012 introduces several changes that impact on compatibility of Microsoft Test Manager, unit tests, coded UI tests, Web performance tests, and load tests. See What's New for Application Lifecycle Management Testing in Visual Studio 2012.

  • Version control and name format: Version Control now uses a display name, such as Peter Waxman, when it outputs user information instead of a user ID, such as fabrikamfiber\peter. You will need to update any dependencies on the command line output format to parse names according to the new format.

  • Project management tasks: The following tasks require you to have the current version of Team Explorer installed on your computer. You can also use the current version of Team Explorer to administer Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010.

    • Create a team project: To use the New Team Project Wizard you must use the current version of Team Explorer.

    • Manage process templates: You upload and download process templates by using the Process Template Manager in Team Explorer.

    • Manage groups and security: To manage groups, group membership, and security permissions, you must use Team Web Access, which requires Internet Explorer 8 or later version. For additional supported browsers, see Use Team Web Access to interact with Visual Studio ALM.

    • TfsAdmin commands: These commands are used to configure the integration of Team Foundation Server and Project Server.

  • Work item tracking:

    • Bottom-up tree queries: Finds parent items based on filters specified for the child items.

    • Contains Words and Does Not Contain Words: To find work items by filtering on text fields that are indexed for full-text search, which correspond to: Description, History, Steps to Reproduce, and Title. See Query Fields, Operators, Values, and Variables.

    • Link work items to models and storyboards: Uses the Model and Storyboard link type.

    • Project alerts and area and iteration settings: To get the enhanced functionality available with the current release, you must connect to Team Web Access.

  • Extensibility: The extensibility model for Team Explorer has been completely redesigned. Custom controls based on the earlier versions will need to be rewritten.

    You can view work item forms that contain new custom controls, but they display as missing. The location on the form where the control is missing displays as red, with the path of the missing control displayed. To view all new work item form controls, use the current version of Team Explorer in a side-by-side configuration, or use Team Web Access.

Before you install or upgrade Team Foundation Build or Team Foundation Server, you should review the issues of compatibility between different versions of these components. For example, you cannot use a version of Team Foundation Build that is older or newer than the version of Team Foundation Server that you are using. In addition, some features of Team Foundation Build are not available or behave differently when you use a version that is older or newer than the version of Team Explorer that is running on your client computer. See Use Legacy Build Processes.

The upgrade to Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 introduces the following requirements. For more information, see TFS Upgrade Requirements.

  • 64-bit server requirement: Upgrade to Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 requires a 64-bit server operating system. Integration of Team Foundation Server with Project Server also requires that Project Server is deployed on a 64-bit server operating system. See System Requirements for Team Foundation Server.

  • Legacy build processes: When you upgrade from earlier versions of Team Foundation Server, you can continue to use legacy build processes. You can also continue to use older versions of Visual Studio to create build processes on Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012. See Use Legacy Build Processes.

  • Project portals: Any servers running SharePoint Products and are communicating with an application-tier server for Team Foundation Server 2012 requires installation of the Team Foundation Server Extensions for SharePoint for the current release. These extensions support backward compatibility and connection to Team Foundation Server 2010.

With the MSSCCI power tool, you can integrate Team Foundation version control with products that do not support integration with Team Explorer. The 2012 version of this tool supports Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 and is compatible with the following software versions:

  • Visual Studio 2005

  • Visual Studio .NET 2003

  • Visual C++ 6 SP6

  • Visual Basic 6 SP6

  • Visual FoxPro 9 SP2

  • Microsoft Access 2007

  • SQL Server Management Studio

  • Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect 7.5

  • Sybase PowerBuilder 11.5

  • Microsoft eMbedded Visual C++ 4.0

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